For those of you that don’t know, Moose Tracks® is an ice cream by Denali® Flavors. It is made into various store brand ice creams and other small dairies like Mayfield and Turkey Hill. Moose Tracks® has a vanilla ice cream base and is accented with peanut butter cups and Moose Tracks® fudge.
I started off my cup cake interpretation with a standard vanilla cupcake batter. I creamed together 2 sticks room temperature butter and 2 cups sugar. I then added 4 eggs and 2 teaspoonfuls of vanilla and mixed well. In a separate bowl, I mixed 3 cups flour, 3 teaspoonfuls baking powder and a bit of salt. I added it in thirds to the butter mixture, alternating with 2/3 cup warmed milk. When the flour was incorporated, I stirred in a box of Trader Joe’s Mini Peanut Butter cups. I scooped into 24 cupcake liners and baked for around 20 minutes at 350.
While the cakes were cooling, I started the icing. I thought about using the Drumsticks fudge as an icing, but its too thick to pipe when cool and too thin to pipe when warm… I also thought about using my grandmother’s boiled chocolate icing which I remember as being “fudgy”… but she always poured it onto a sheet cake still in the pan. I didn’t know how that would pipe either… I ended up using a recipe that I found on Chowhound. I don’t know who to credit….
I heated 1 cup of cream with a couple of tablespoonfuls of corn syrup and a pinch of salt. When it was simmering, I poured it over 20 ounces of chopped chocolate. (I used a bag of Ghiardelli semi sweet chips that I had on hand and 8 ounces of Callebaut bittersweet). I mixed this until the chocolate was melted, then added 1 cup of powdered sugar, then 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter a little at a time and blended until smooth. After it cooled completely in the frig (I was short on time!) I whipped it a bit to make it fluffy.
I ended up with 2 pans in the oven when I baked the cupcakes. Both pans were the same TYPE of pan (non-stick), but not the same BRAND (one was Wilton and one was CakeMate, I think). When I initially took the cakes out of the oven, one of the pans seemed to be a little underdone. When I touched the top to see if it bounced back, it was still wet, so I put that pan back in the oven for an extra 2 minutes. When Mr Shuck and I ate a cupcake later on that night, mine was still a little raw in the middle. Mr Shuck’s was fine. We both thought the cupcakes were good, but the icing was a little sweeter than I like. The next day at work, I got mixed reviews: some people thought the cupcakes were “a little dense” and “dry” and others thought they were good. I think it probably depended on which pan they had come out of. There is also the possibility that some of my friends are honest and some don’t want to complain about a free cupcake! I think I might try to get another Wilton pan for consistency. I also think I need to spend an entire weekend testing vanilla cake recipes. If anyone out there wants to share…..